Magenta mini

30 Mar

Back

Just because I’m on a roll. And I just finished it. And I think it’s pretty cute. (Sorry for the not-so-high quality photos; my camera is out of batteries. Or it’s broken. I’ll figure out which when I buy new batteries tomorrow, so I took these with my computer.)

Front

Notice the unmade bed and empty wine glass.

In case anyone needs any reading material.

29 Mar

I haven’t posted in awhile, I apologize! I know, I know, keeping you all from my clever commentary is cruel. But, I don’t make any promises. I have no desire to post daily.

So, way back in the day, I had a different blog. And it still exists. And I’m going to share it with you, some of whom were subscribers when I wrote it, but many of whom have never seen the link.

Anyway, the blog: “Life is pink”. A play on “La vie en rose,” which is a gorgeous song by the talented Edith Piaf. But, nobody got the joke because no one else spoke French who read the blog, so I’ve since renamed it to the translation. I started it in the fall of 2006 and wrote until I left. I didn’t write often. Because, you know, I was too busy going on vacation and traveling around. However, I had some amazing stories, like about my purse being stolen, cooking Thanksgiving completely off the cuff for a dozen people, and what happened to the dead woman in the apartment upstairs.

Yup, writing this post, I just reread almost every post. Some really good memories! Granted, I only wrote my stories with a sarcastic edge, not wanting my mom to know how sad I was sometimes. And, you’ll have to forgive me for my not-so-perfect grammar. When you’re speaking French all day every day, your English gets worse. It really does. (Update: ugh, sorry, I just noticed I used the wrong “your” when I first wrote this. Gross.)

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all wondering what the link is, so voila!

http://la-vie-est-rose.blogspot.com/

I hope you enjoy!

Now I’m going to go sew a magenta mini skirt.

Goals. And, no, I don’t watch football.

7 Mar

So, I am reminded almost daily that this year is the year of jenna (ask me sometime why I don’t capitalize my name; I might give you the real answer, or the fake answer, who knows?!). Funny enough, last night before I went to sleep, I wrote down my 5 main goals for the next year, not to be confused with resolutions, as they are not resolutions. They are goals.

I apologize, interwebs, but you are not privy to most of my goals. However, goal #4 I will share with you today:

  • 4.  Do not buy any new clothes for the rest of the spring and summer.

Anyone who has seen my bedroom and looked into my closet has said something along the lines of, “Damn, Gina, you have a lot of clothes.” This would be true, for a number of reasons. Everyone likes lists, so here goes:

  1. I wear the same size clothing that I did when I was 15. That’s 12 years of clothes. Granted, I have either donated or thrown away most of these clothes, but if I really love something, I keep it. I might not wear it, but I keep it.
  2. I can sew! Which means it is cheaper for me to make clothes than buy clothes, so therefore I can make more clothes than I would buy. Does that make sense to anyone else? I have some favorite patterns, mainly of skirts, that I remake over and over again with different fabric and different lengths. I know what skirts look best on me (a short A-line or an above-the-knee pencil, if you’re wondering), and so I make a lot of them.
  3. My favorite store is not in Minnesota (and shall not be named, although I probably talk about it almost every day), and so when I travel to a city that has the store, I go crazy. CRAZY. I’d say the minimum each shopping trip there is about 8 items. And then I can’t get rid of clothing from said-store. I found this store when I was 22 and living in France. I’ve gone on about 2 shopping trips a year to the store. 2 x 5 x 8 = 80. Hmm. Doing the math makes it seem a lot worse. Maybe I should delete that. (Notice how I did not say stop. I will never stop. I love that store. It’s too serious to even use an exclamation mark.) At least I haven’t started buying its clothes on e-bay, right? Yes, I’ve looked. My size is almost never on there.

Those are enough reasons.

So, what am I planning on doing? Well, I am going to either refashion clothes I already own (you know, change the hem, use my scissors for other reasons, I can’t think of any other explanation; really, I’m probably just going to change hems), or sew clothes using my existing closet-full of fabric, or I’ll probably let myself buy some new fabric as well. Mainly, because I already saw a dress online that I want to make:

 

image courtesy of: <thefrisky.com>

 

I don’t like the fabric so much, but I’m a big fan of flow-y stuff with belts. And I think I could make the pattern for it myself.

Yes, I am starting to make patterns! Mostly, I just alter existing patterns. Stayed tuned to see my most prized pattern alteration that I completed a couple weeks ago.

I did my first refashion tonight. Do I show you the pictures? Hmm. Maybe just small pictures.

I have a pair of shorts that I bought at said-store in France 4 years ago. At the time, they were fabulous, but now, I just don’t like them that much. Over the last year, I’ve only worn them to go golfing, and who wants to wear black shorts golfing? Queue hot (temperature-wise) rear end. No, thank you.

So, what did I do? I cut them shorter. Hot pants are in style, yo. I will probably never wear them in public.

Before.

After. Yes, I am a vampire and my legs have no pigment.

I didn’t hem them, because that would make them even shorter, and because unfinished hemlines are currently de rigueur. And I’m a slave to fashion.

There you have it! Be prepared for more pictures of my white legs and clothes I may or may not ever wear.

And…I have a new roommate!

24 Feb

Or, maybe you could call him a boarder.

I’ve been searching for weeks now, until yesterday, when I saw his picture on the Humane Society of Minnesota‘s website. You know it, I adopted a cat!

Meet Pierre le Géant, alias “Wilbur.” (Wilbur was his former name; I’m currently calling him “Willbur Pierre” and after awhile will drop the Wilbur completely. I don’t exactly know the best way to get a cat used to its new name.)

I’ve added the “le Géant” after André the Giant, as my new kitty, is huge. Enormous. The Biggest Cat I’ve Ever Seen. Well, his former brother is actually even larger. Ok, I keep getting backtracked. Here’s the backstory:

Pierre/Wilbur and Norman were surrendered to the Humane Society about a week ago when their owner moved. That’s all I really know about his past. Now, this makes me a little upset, as I don’t think a pet is like a pair of shoes. You don’t throw them away when you’ve had them a couple years. When you move, you move your cat with you. Or don’t get a cat if you think you won’t be able to have one in a couple years. Pierre’s my cat now, and I’m his forever home.

He’s 4 years old. You might wonder why I didn’t adopt his brother, too, but they’re not actually brothers and, according to the Humane Society, weren’t bonded together. Norman, the brother, is an orange tabby like Pierre, and quite cute as well, but when I said hi to him, he looked at me, and then laid back down. While Pierre, he has great eye contact, important in any relationship, and is a total lover. He has a soft, quiet purr. He’s been meowing a little, but that’s to be expected with all his changes over the last week, and he’s already starting to be quieter as the night goes on.

He’s also already showed me his hilarious happy dance. When he’s happy, he wiggles his butt while he walks. So funny.

The ride home wasn’t so much fun; he got nervous and peed in his carrier. Luckily, the peeps at the Society put his blanket in the carrier, so that took the full impact.

But as soon as he got home, he took a little tour all by himself, and now is quite satisfied. I thought he might hide for a little while as got settled, but, nope, this home is his home.

Ok, back to his size. Get this: Pierre weighs 16 pounds. 16 pounds!!!!! He is a little overweight, but most of it is just that he’s a big cat.

Sorry, I’m in love. But, I promise that it won’t all be about Pierre from now on. But, be prepared for sometimes. And cute pictures.

For your viewing pleasure: pomegranate!

20 Feb

I thought that for the first unveiling of my new place, why not start with my favorite corner?

What I fell in love with immediately after touring my apartment, before it was my apartment, was its personality. A lot of apartments are reminiscent of hospitals and nursing homes: everything’s white and off-white. Gross. This one, while the walls were all painted either white (bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom) or beige (living room), it still had the little sumthin’ sumthin’ I was looking for. Case in point: these beautiful, gorgeous built-in shelves:

Remember my old sewing room? Well, I went crazy and bought this zero-VOC paint (which means it’s a lot better for the environment, you know, without any VOCs (ask me what VOC stands for (I have not the slightest idea what VOC stands for, but I know that it’s bad and I don’t want it (how many parentheses inside parentheses until you go crazy?)))). However, when I bought this awesome zero-VOC paint from the Natura line at Hirschfield’s, I didn’t check the price because I had a coupon, and when you have a coupon, whatever you want to buy is then cheap, right? WRONG! Wow, was I wrong. Most expensive paint there is, and I’m probably not even joking about that one.

Ok, that was a long explanation, but what I was getting at, was that I still had half a gallon of my beautiful, expensive Pomegranate Natura paint, and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. As soon as I saw the built-ins, I knew that the pomegranate would look exquisite on it, and I was right.

In that first picture, that’s the door to my apartment, and my coat closest is behind the shelving. I keep my cook books, games, movies, and a smattering of books on the shelves. If you look closely, my VHS tapes look amazing on my shelf, too. Yes, I still have a VHS player. And, yes, I refuse to buy a high-def television. I have the oldest TV of anyone I know, and I’m keeping it until it dies. I think that will be many, many moons from now…

Jean-Louis also lives on the shelves. Jean-Louis is a copper lobster that I kept while my aunt and I were cleaning out my grandparents’ house before my grandma moved into the rest home. My grandfather (the handsome man in uniform in the picture on the top shelf) had an affinity for copper figurines, and Jean-Louis was the strangest, and, therefore, my favorite.

Here’s another shot of what’s on the shelves. As you can see, it’s a tribute to my family (yes, mother, if you get me a picture of you when you were a child I will put it on there, but YOU HAVE TO GET ME A PICTURE!):

I’m switching things up a little

13 Feb

Well, to be clear, I switched things up a lot a couple months ago. As you dear readers can ascertain, my blog has a new name and a new theme. I am never going to air my dirty laundry online, but I’m sure you’re all smart enough to figure out what happened, in case you happen to be a random stalker, or perhaps a friend I haven’t talked to in awhile.

I’m all moved in a settled in an apartment not far from Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis (oh, yes, the old ’76 Schwinn is going to get regular exercise again once the snow melts and she gets new tires!). It’s a one-bedroom on the corner of the building with gorgeous hardwood floors (my best guess is cedar, but what do I know?). A couple dear, dear friends helped me paint before I moved in. Yes, all those colors at the top of the screen are names of paint I have on my walls.

I’ve still got room for a little sewing nook, and I’ve been keeping busy with projects. And while I already feel settled in, my list of apartment projects keeps growing.

Speaking of growing, sadly, no more garden for me. However, I’m definitely going to be testing the proverbial waters of apartment gardening and see what happens. I also am going to make a request to the apartment manager and see how they feel about me using my green thumb in the building’s entrance. My mom thinks it’s a good idea. I do, too.

So, stay tuned as I’ve already completed a bunch of things and will be unveiling them soon!

Until then, here is a picture of my recent trip to Cali to see my sister and niece. Eva and I made cookies, and I do believe she is a cookie decorator after my own heart…

Summer Wrap-up!

21 Nov

First gardening summer is over, and there are definitely things that I plan on doing differently last year. Some of which I’ve already started on (see here).

Here’s what went wrong:

  1. I planted approximately 30 radish plants. They all seeded and the leaves looked pretty good, but there were zero radish roots, which, you know, if what you eat on a radish. Sad.
  2. My lettuce plants either didn’t grow at all, or were so puny I didn’t even bother picking and eating them. Seriously puny.
  3. I planted a couple different kinds of flower seeds. None of them seeded at all.
  4. The bees took over my compost pile.

So, looking at that list, it’s actually not so bad. But here’s how I’m planning on fixing those things:

  1. You know, St. Paul has an amazing Farmers Market that Chris and I live 5 minutes away from and love frequenting. There are many, many beautiful radishes to be bought, so I’m just going to let them take care of the radishes.
  2. See above, but replace “radishes” with “lettuce”. And lettuce only costs $1!!
  3. After I planted the seeds, my lovely mother told me that it’s really difficult to get flowers to seed. Since I had never planted any flower besides sunflowers, I didn’t know that. However, it’s not hard to get sunflowers to seed. I just happened to plant the sunflowers in the wrong spot, not knowing the tree next to it had gigantour leaves
  4. In the spring, before the bees awake from hibernation, I’m going to rebuild the compost bin. According to widipedia, bumble bees don’t nest in the same spot 2 years in a row, so I’m hoping for the best. However, I think there’s a hole that I don’t know about on the bottom of the compost, that by rebuilding I’ll be able to get rid of. I’m not going to try to do anything too pretty, but there’s a lot of plywood in the shed that Betty left that should do just fine.

And my other new ideas

  1. I want to build a rain barrel. This summer was great for rain, and I almost never needed to water anything. I doubt I’ll be that lucky next year, so I want to be prepared with a rain barrel.
  2. So, last year, my vegetables that were beautiful and delicious were green beans and tomatoes. Now, not all the tomatoes had time to ripen before the first frost, so I’m going to plant the tomato plants earlier (thank you, again, Farmers Market). Now, obviously, the @#$% deer ate my beans, so I’m going to try the suggest my aunt made and use liquid fence, since it doesn’t harm the environment or animals, but yet will keep deer, bunnies, squirrels, etc. out. Excellent. In addition to tomatoes and beans, I’m also going to try planting onions and green peppers. Maybe one day I’ll try lettuce and radish again, but I get the feeling my garden isn’t the best place for them.
  3. There are a couple sections of the garden that I didn’t do a thing to this summer, not wanting to overwhelm myself. But this year, I’m going to do some more pruning and planting. Part of the garden I didn’t get to has ferns and lilies that never flowered. I’m going to replant the ferns in another section of the garden, and just get rid of the lilies because I don’t have faith they’ll ever flower again. Instead, that’s where I’m planting the sunflowers, and I’m going to need some of that space for the onions and green peppers.

So, there you  have it. I love, love, LOVE having a garden. I stand in the kitchen and stare at it sometimes, just thinking about what else I could put in it, and looking at the pretty flowers. I never thought I’d be one of those people… Yup, I’m a grown up. I guess.